Progression in Tae Kwon-Do is measured with the colour of the belt worn by the student, which also denotes their grade.
There are 10 grades, also known as Kups. The order of the grades and belt colours, from beginner to Black belt are:
10th Kup White Belt
9th Kup White Belt with a Yellow stripe
8th Kup Yellow Belt
7th Kup Yellow Belt with a Green stripe
6th Kup Green Belt
5th Kup Green Belt with a Blue stripe
4th Kup Blue Belt
3rd Kup Blue Belt with a Red stripe
2nd Kup Red Belt
1st Kup Red Belt with a Black stripe
1st Dan Black Belt
Each Belt colour has a symbolic meaning :
White - Signifies Innocence, that of the student having no previous knowledge of TKD
Yellow - Signifies Earth from which the plant (student) sprouts, as TKD foundations are being laid
Green - Signifies Growth, as TKD skills begin to develop
Blue - Signifies Heaven, towards which the plant grows as the TKD skills begin to mature
Red - Signifies Danger, warning the student to take control and the opponent to stay away
Black - Black is opposite to white, signifying proficiency in TKD, and imperviousness to darkness and fear
Students are graded at set intervals (every 3 months up to blue belt, and then every six months), to demonstrate their Tae Kwon-Do ability and skills. After each successful grading the student is rewarded with their next belt and a certificate.
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